FCC Adopts WEA Second Report and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration

In the January Open Meeting, the Commission adopted a Second Report and Order (“Second R&O”) and Second Order on Reconsideration (“Second Order on Recon”) to enhance the effectiveness of Wireless Emergency Alerts (“WEA”). The Second R&O improves the accuracy with which emergency managers can geographically target the delivery of WEA Alert Messages to areas within their jurisdiction, and ensures that consumers will be able to retrieve and review Alert Message content for 24 hours from receipt. The Commission also defines what it means for a Commercial Mobile Service (“CMS”) Provider to participate in WEA “in whole” versus “in part.” In the Second Order on Recon, the FCC aligns the deadline for supporting Alert Messages initiated in Spanish with the deadline for extending the length of WEA messages from 90 to 360 characters.

This item has been published in the Federal Register and the following important dates have been confirmed.

Effective Dates

  • Updated Definitions and WEA participation election procedures (Amendments to Sections 10.10 and 10.210) are effective April 30, 2018 (new date);
  • Enhanced Geo-Targeting and Alert Message Preservation (Amendments to Sections 10.450 and 10.500) are effective November 30, 2019;
  • Point of Sale Disclosure amendments to Section 10.240 contain new or modified information collection requirements and will not be effective until approval by OMB (see compliance dates below).

Compliance Dates

  • Participating CMS Providers must comply with the new point of sale disclosure rules by November 30, 2019 or as specified by a future Federal Register publication announcing OMB approval;
  • CMS Providers are required to update their WEA election status (if applicable) within 120 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register of a document announcing approval by OMB of the modified information collection requirements. (Pursuant to a correction published in the Federal Register on March 13, 2018).

Applicability Date

  • The requirement to support Spanish language Alert Messages in Section 10.480 is applicable beginning May 1, 2019.

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